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A Letter From the Editor: The complexity that is being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan

The Steelers’ fan base can be complex, to say the least.

Chargers Steelers at SoFi Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is a unique bunch. There are the fans who have been around since the glory days of the 1970s, those who are relatively new to the team, and plenty in between. Nonetheless, all of the fans want the same thing, for the team to succeed and add to that Lombardi trophy case at the team’s headquarters.

However, the difference in fans can certainly be unique, but it doesn’t mean any one person’s opinions are wrong.

Since I started writing for this website back in 2014, I found myself engulfed in a new faction of the fan base. The first article I wrote was about the team’s entrance to training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. I suggested the team should cut back on the dramatic entrances, and just go to work.

I was proud of the article, but got ripped to shreds in the comment section. If I’m honest, I was dejected. When you spend time on an article, and are proud of the work, receiving criticism can be tough to handle. Nonetheless, when I sat back and thought about the comments on the article I quickly realized each fan has a different attitude and approach to this team. Just because they don’t agree with me doesn’t mean they are less of a fan. It just means they have a differing viewpoint.

When you run a site like this you are fortunate enough to have your finger on the pulse of the fan base, and you can see just how vast and diverse Steelers Nation can be. Often times fans can view opposing opinions like I did on that first article for the site as a personal attack.

“How dare they disagree with me? They must not be a true fan!”

We all fall into the echo chamber of people who only agree with our point of view, but the true test of a fan’s character is where their Steelers values reside. Let me explain...

If you are a fan who is in the ‘Fire Tomlin’ section of the fan base, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. The only way a fan should ever be upset with your ideas is if you don’t have the team’s best interests at heart. That may sound crazy, but if you follow this fan base long enough you see people who you wonder if they actually like the team and want them to succeed.

The fact is, even if the fans want Tomlin gone, it is likely because they feel it will help the team succeed. Again, agree or disagree, it is their opinion.

This is where this wonderful community comes into play. Imagine for a second if the article I wrote in 2014 was received this way:

“Couldn’t agree more!”
“Yes! Spot on!”
“This is what needs to happen!”

Would be a pretty boring comment section, and it wouldn’t have taught me a valuable lesson about my writing and this site. Rather, I saw comments which weren’t critical of me, but my thoughts on the topic. This brings value and complexity to the site which is both desired and appreciated.

There will always be fans who disagree, that is life, but we should be able to see we all have the same common interest — the success of the Steelers.

Some believe the team should tank the rest of the season.

Some believe the team should never fold, and press on hoping to make the playoffs.

Both narratives have value to the team. The people who believe the team should tank do so the organization will have a higher draft slot in the 2022 NFL Draft. You may find this silly, but the genesis of their thoughts are to help the team. Those who believe the team should never fold, and always play for the postseason, believe the team will value from the experience in the playoffs, and always hope for the best.

Neither side is truly wrong, just different.

These are challenging times for the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base, and we all have our own thoughts on how this team can climb their way out of this funk they are currently experiencing. Some thoughts are different, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s what makes this fan base great.